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of war. in 1940, congress agreed to only token increases in defense production. roosevelt waited until after the presidential election to make his move. on december 29th, he called for a lend-lease program to aid the allies and $1 billion for arms production. we must be the great arsenal of democracy. for us, this is an emergency as serious as war itself. allied losses in europe mounted. plans for american aid increased. special envoys were dispatched to london and moscow to discuss war materials. at home, mobilization committees were set up, bringing together business and labor. robert nathan, the chief economic planner for the arsenal of democracy, recalls that the first problem was convincing depressed industries to expand. the steel industry, with great impact, said, "you're silly." we were down to 15% to 20% of our capacity utilization for some years during the depression. i don't think we would have convinced them if we hadn't had the gnp to demonstrate what a fully employed economy would accomplish. plants began shifting toward munitions and liberty ships were being designed. an
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